Presented by Regulator Marine – Once known as rugged machines built for serious sportfishing, center consoles have evolved into powerhouses equipped with yacht-like technology and every creature comfort you seek, making them one of the fastest-growing boat segments for many years running.
We caught up with one of the best in the business, Regulator Marine, to talk about what to look for when shopping for your next ride. As one of the premiere center console sportfisher boat builders in America since 1988, Regulator is known as one of the first to say that you don’t need to sacrifice comfort when you’re headed offshore – in fact, you should demand it.
“We can be serious fishermen and still have air conditioning at the helm,” says Regulator VP of Sales and Marketing Keith Ammons with a laugh. “But seriously, when you are shopping for a center console, it’s all about the build, the quality and the ride. Look for what you want above deck, but spend some time digging below the surface to be sure you have the best.”
Here are Ammons’ top tips.
TAKE A SEA TRIAL
But don’t go out on a gorgeous, calm day. Go for a ride on a day when sea conditions are a little rough – in fact, go out in every condition you think you’ll encounter on your waterway. And make sure you test all of your options in the same conditions!
GET TO KNOW THE MANUFACTURER
Look at the fit & finish. Do all doors and compartments close perfectly, with ease? Are there any rough edges or is everything smooth to the touch? The quality of build will make all the difference. Do your research, visit the factory, and talk to the people who engineer, design, and build your boat. You need to know that each detail was designed to last.
THE POWER PRINCIPLE
Center consoles today have LOTS of power, but you don’t just want to go for max horsepower. You want to pay attention to how that power affects performance, stability and ride. You will also want to consider fuel capacity. Are the engines fuel-efficient for the boat size and range expected?
Above all, consider how and where you will use your boat – for sport and for fun. Is there enough deck space? A head? Entertainment electronics? How much seating is on board, and does the boat have a table? These are all factors that may be more or less relevant, depending on how you plan to use your boat.
Happy shopping and see you offshore!